Residential Magazine

2023 State Champions

Crowning mortgage royalty across the country

By Hannah Darden

Across the nation, mortgage originators are working harder than ever to maintain their business and stay on top in their local markets. This month, Scotsman Guide celebrates those who excelled in their respective states during the 2022 production year, in which market conditions became more difficult over time.

Thousands of originators made the cut for this year’s Top Dollar Volume list, with entrants from all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, but only 52 can be crowned as State Champions. The exceptional originators on the following pages had the highest sales volumes in their respective states in this year’s Top Originators rankings (which measure last year’s volumes).

The past few years saw plenty of real estate shake-ups across the nation, with migration patterns shifting and housing costs increasing. Last year set a record for most interstate movers, with 8.2 million people switching states and another 31 million people relocating within the same state, according to StorageCafe. The relatively expensive states of Alaska, New York, Illinois and California experienced the most negative net migration. Conversely, states like Idaho, Vermont, Montana and South Carolina have had high levels of positive net migration and tend to offer more affordable real estate.

Amid a high interest rate environment, movers are understandably eager to save money. Closing costs have increased alongside home prices, but several states are still affordable in this regard, according to an Assurance report released this past August. The lowest closing costs were in West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas, all clocking in at less than $2,500 on average.

On the other end of the spectrum, New York, California and New Jersey had the highest closing costs, with expenses in each of these states averaging more than $7,500. Measured as a percentage of home value, however, the most expensive states for closing costs were Texas, New Mexico, Michigan and Wisconsin, where these miscellaneous expenses averaged more than 2.5% of a home’s value.

The state champion from Alabama, Kim Moon of FirstBank Mortgage, noted that migration is up in her market of Huntsville. The city grew 3.3% during the past year, its highest growth rate in a decade. And the Kentucky state champion, Jesse Cronen of Northpointe Bank, highlighted how his state’s relative affordability helps him to close more loans.

For this month’s rankings feature, Scotsman Guide reached out to six originators from all corners of the nation — from coast to coast and north to south — to learn what it’s like to work in their markets. Hear from Moon, Cronen and the four other Featured State Champions on Page 39.

This list is the final installment of the 2023 Top Originators series. We’ll take a break from rankings content for the next few months as we gear up for next year. The submission period will open Jan. 1, 2024, and the new rankings will debut in April. Visit now to see updated guidelines, including changes to the qualification thresholds for dollar volumes and closed loans.

We can’t wait to see your name in next year’s Top Originators rankings. For now, enjoy the holiday season, and best wishes for the new year ahead.

Disparate home price gains between states

National home prices should rise by 3.4% during the year ending in August 2024, according to a forecast this past October from CoreLogic. In August 2023, prices rose 3.7% year over year, but state-level gains were vastly different across the board.

CoreLogic noted that eight states (Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New York, Texas, Utah and Washington) posted annualized declines in home prices. Four other states in the West — California, Colorado, Oregon and Wyoming — saw gains of 1% to 3%.

Much of the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard, meanwhile, saw increases of 5% or more, with the highest gains clustered in New England. New Hampshire led the nation with 9.4% year-over-year growth, while Maine and Vermont each saw increases of 8.9%. Among large metros, Miami led the pack with an 8.3% price gain. Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Diego each had growth of more than 4%.

CoreLogic also measured the markets that are most at risk of home price declines in the coming year. It ranked the metro areas of Spokane, Washington; Cape Coral, Florida; Youngstown, Ohio; Ocala, Florida; and Deltona, Florida, at the top of this list. The report estimated the probability of price declines in these metros at more than 70%.


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